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The San Felipe

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 3/9/2011 4:51:05 PM

The San Felipe

With Uncle Mo getting a light race in his first of the year on Saturday, let’s look to the West Coast for some possible Triple Crown sleepers.

Mo did cross enter Saturday in both the Tampa Bay Derby and the Timely Writer at Gulfstream. Five entered against him in the Writer while a full field will be in the gate at Tampa.

Uncle Mo posted a 108 Beyer in his last win and the highest Beyer of any Timely Writer foe earned was 89. Mo should romp.

The $250,000 San Felipe Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth will be renewed this Saturday at Santa Anita and through the years, not all of the Western stars showed up for this event.

Sure, Sunday Silence won the race in 1989 on his way to Kentucky Derby success as did back to back Felipe winners Fusaichi Pegasus and Point Given but it has been 10 years since a Felipe winner tasted glory in Kentucky.

Last year Sidney’s Candy parlayed a win in the San Vicente to a wire-to-wire score in the Felipe with a 95 Beyer. A full gate is in prospect and there are some questions about some of the main contenders. Jaycito will be making his sophomore debut for Bob Baffert but he has not been seen since acting up and bearing out in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

As just a maiden winner, Jaycito has some things to prove and will need help up front.

Awesome Patriot got away with slow splits winning his debut but posted a career best Beyer cashing at a mile over the Anita surface in December.

Patriot figures to be the speed component of the Baffert runners.

Premier Pegasus was impressive taking the Prevue at Hollywood last year but he came back to earth recently when chasing The Factor home in the San Vicente.

John Sadler asked for speed in Runflatout’s workout last Monday and he got it as the colt went 6 furlongs in 1:10.40. This guy was ultra solid taking his other start going 6 furlongs in 1:07.70.

Albergatti got to lugging in his debut but he made amends graduating going away. Bred to go long on the top side, he is the first foal from a sprint only dam.

Bench Points has a similar pedigree as Albergatti. He has been professional and is unbeaten in 4 starts but he will be making his route debut.

Comma to the Top is battle tested. He was solid taking the Cash Call Futurity but he bore out and tired in his last at Golden Gate.

In that stakes, Jakesam ran well to be second. His sire was known as a sprinter but did cash routing once while he is the first to go from a dam that won once, a sprint.

Quail Hill was far from disgraced at boxcars in the G2 Lewis but he draws the outside this time and could be compromised.

Surrey Star will be trying to do something he never has and that’s win on dirt. His lone win came at 7 furlongs on grass last summer but was closing in his lone mile try. His dam only won once but it was at a mile in a Group 3 while his sire, Dubawi, was a multiple Group 1 winner on grass who also cashed at a mile.

Don’t be shocked if the stakes unfolds like this. The two inside horses, Albergatti and Runflatout will push hard on the lead along with Premier Pegasus and Comma to the Top.

The figures to be hot and heavy so let’s look for the race to fall apart and a closer to pick up the cash.

Enter Bob Baffert’s Jaycito, who has been trained for this by getting dirt kicked in his face. Look for him to be 6 or 8 off the pace, and then explode at crunch time under Martin Garcia.

Good luck.

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